Firing

There’s danger in every aspect of firing, from WARN Act layoffs and exit interviews to constructive discharge and more.

Learn how to fire an employee and sidestep wrongful termination lawsuits, with battle-tested firing procedures, and employment termination letters. At last, you can fire at will!

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Sometimes, it’s obvious that a disciplinary policy isn’t working. Occasionally, management’s ideas about discipline evolve. When you do replace your discipline policy, make sure you document exactly when the change went into effect. That way, an employee who is punished more severely can’t point to the earlier disciplinary actions as evidence he was unfairly singled out.
It’s not up to most managers to write a company’s discipline policy. But it's a manager’s responsibility to interpret, implement and enforce it in a consistent and fair manner. How well do you know your discipline do’s and don’ts? Take this quiz to find out.
Courts don’t want to second-guess employers unless they feel they have no alternative. When an employee charges discrimination based on different treatment because he belongs to a protected class, the court first looks at the employer’s rules and tries to see if they have been enforced consistently.

If you want a termination decision to stand up in court, make sure you carefully document all discipline that occurred before the firing—and do so at the time the discipline occurs. Otherwise, chances are a court or jury may assume the earlier incidents didn’t happen.

It may sound silly, but there’s a very practical reason to be careful when questioning employees during an investigation: Some especially sensitive people may feel they are being held involuntarily—and sue for false imprisonment.
A recent state appellate court decision offers clarification about how employers can handle an employee’s false or exaggerated sexual harassment complaints.
A March evening started out great for a waiter at the Angus Barn restaurant. One of his customers was NFL quarterback and well-known big tipper Peyton Manning, who left a $200 tip. The waiter was so excited he posted Manning's credit card slip in a photo on Facebook. Bad move ...
Q. Our company policy prohibits managers from dating subordinates. I have just learned that a manager has violated this rule. May we terminate him?

Remind supervisors and managers to stick with verifiable and documented facts when writing up an employee for poor performance, a mistake or other disciplinary matter. That’s because a false write-up could be grounds for a later defamation lawsuit.

Some employees don’t take direction well. One approach turns such employees around: Insist that the employee sign on to a performance improvement plan. If he refuses to cooperate, document that refusal. You can then safely terminate the employee for insubordination.